As part of TSN's extensive coverage of the world hockey championship, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger sits down with some of the game's prominent personalities in Slovakia, discussing the hot topics of the day.
In this edition of 'Dreger Cafe,' Darren goes one-on-one with new Buffalo Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger.
Here are a few topics that stood out.
Krueger on meeting two of the Sabres’ top players, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, at the World Championship.
It’s an excellent opportunity to spend some quiet time with them before they go off into their summer break and pick their brains a little bit about where they’re at and where they’d like to go and it was good. I saw Jack a couple of nights ago; it was an excellent first meeting. We really went a lot deeper than I expected on a first contact. We definitely spoke the most about hockey but also about life and about leadership which is very important from his perspective.
Krueger on returning to coaching after spending five years as an executive with Southampton.
I was a head coach in many different areas for 25 years and that is still within me and being the young kid growing up in Winnipeg, your heart and passion is definitely to get into the middle of the fire. When I started looking at the opportunities – a few clubs did approach me for different roles – when Jason ( ) came up and I started processing the head coach, it just became the favourite really quickly. Initially my thoughts were more same role back in the hockey world but this just felt natural and I have to say I made the switch pretty quick.
Krueger on if he thinks the Sabres can make the playoffs next season.
I believe that has to be our goal and let’s be honest, we still have some building to do. There’s free agency ahead, we have some conversations to have with players we still have before free agency. Let’s bring the lineup together, I need to get to know the others better. I have a few months here to really get up to speed on our competition but I certainly believe we can be in the mix here very quickly and this season needs to be one where people feel us moving towards being a contender.